The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has recently partnered with Proctorio, the leading remote proctoring solution. However, their students expressed concerns over privacy and exam alternatives and took their case to the Amsterdam District Courts. On Thursday, June 4th, summary proceedings took place at the District Court in Amsterdam about the use of Proctorio software at UvA and other universities. However, the court did not rule until today, June 11th. Today, the judge, HC Hoogeven, stated that UvA is permitted to continue using Proctorio and that software is, indeed, fully GDPR compliant.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- With the rapid spread of COVID-19, universities all over the world have been forced to transfer their physical learning environments to digital settings. The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is no exception. Through their partnership with Proctorio, they are able to administer all proctored exams and quizzes to their students remotely through Proctorio's learning integrity platform.
On Thursday, June 4th, summary proceedings took place at the District Court in Amsterdam about the use of Proctorio software at UvA and other universities. However, the court did not rule until today, June 11th.
Today, the judge, HC Hoogeven, preliminary relief judge, assisted by L. Oostinga, registar, stated that UvA is permitted to continue using Proctorio.
This is a win for Proctorio and online education as a whole. Students of UvA and other similar universities can now continue their education from their own home without sacrificing integrity or the validity of the degrees they earned. As other universities throughout the Netherlands and the EU watched this decision closely, it has now set a precedent for any and all institutions that have already implemented or are planning to implement remote proctoring software that is both privacy centric and GDPR compliant.
"The conclusion is that the data processing by the UvA is based on the basis of Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR, and that the processing meets the due care requirements set by the GDPR. The UvA's conduct is therefore not unlawful." (Section 4.17 of Summary Proceedings, Case #: C / 13/684665 / KG ZA 20-481 of the Court of Amsterdam).
This case was brought to the court by the Central Student Council of UvA, arguing that UvA students should have the right to refuse to use Proctorio during online exams without incurring study delays and that Proctorio infringes on their personal privacy. However, in response, the UvA has argued that there is no other way to conduct online assessments in a way that protects the integrity and validity of the exams, courses, or the institution.
"Before making a decision on proctoring, the UvA focused on privacy issues in particular. For example, it has been established that the data will only be accessible to authorized UvA staff. The images are encrypted and are stored on servers located in the EU. After thirty days everything is automatically deleted. It has also been established that the images will never be used for anything other than detecting possible fraud. The solution meets GDPR requirements and the Data Protection Officer has given a positive advice" (Section 2.11 of Summary Proceedings, Case #: C / 13/684665 / KG ZA 20-481 of the Court of Amsterdam - Executive Board letter response to unsolicited advice from the CSR, sent on 05.18.2020).
Proctorio + Privacy
Since its creation seven years ago, Proctorio's learning integrity platform has been designed with test taker privacy in mind. For this reason, the platform operates with limited access to a user's personal device and has the ability to be uninstalled and reinstalled as many times as the user chooses.
Proctorio also encrypts all exam-related data in three layers, so no data leaves the user's personal device without being encrypted. The last of these layers is the industry-unique layer of zero-knowledge encryption. This allows no one, other than approved administrators or instructors at the institution, to access this data. Not even Proctorio employees have access to this exam-related data. Proctorio is the only remote proctoring solution to offer zero-knowledge encryption in its approach to securing exam-related data.
Proctorio never requires test takers to enter personally identifiable information (PII) to enter an exam. Instead Proctorio uses Single Sign On, enabling test takers to enter an exam simply by signing into their Learning Management System (LMS) or exam-administering platform. Test takers are made aware of all exam-related data that is collected before the exam begins.
Proctorio is fully GDPR compliant. UvA and other Proctorio EU clients, current or potential, work or will work directly with the European company, Proctorio GmbH. All exam-related data stored by Proctorio is secured in European data centers located near the given partnered institution.
Other Remote Proctoring Solutions
Proctorio is the only privacy-centric remote proctoring solution on the market. Other competitors utilize third-party programs to monitor their exams, collect biometric data, may sell or share exam-related data. Proctorio is the only proctoring solution that uses zero-knowledge encryption to deny access to individuals or parties from outside of the institution to protect student privacy.
Remote proctoring solutions ProctorU and Examity, although both GDPR compliant to some degree, utilize third-party programs, including LogMeIn and Zoom to conduct their exams. These third-party sites may utilize the exam-related and/or personal data for their own purposes.
"Live monitoring of webcams and screens by means of, for example, Zoom, as mentioned by the students, is practically not possible for groups of more than 150 students, at least that cannot be expected from the UvA, regardless of whether there is software that makes [this] possible. For a small group, a supervisor may view the webcams, but other screens that a student has opened cannot be seen, nor is it visible what the student has on his or her desk. Zoom is therefore not suitable for large (by nature) fraud-sensitive exams" (Section 4.15 of Summary Proceedings, Case #: C / 13/684665 / KG ZA 20-481 of the Court of Amsterdam).
Other proctoring vendors collect biometric data during exam attempts. This biometric data can include physical or behavior characteristics that allow you to identify the user, such as fingerprints, faceprints, voiceprints, and keystroke fingerprinting.
Finally, these vendors including the Amsterdam based ProctorExam are most known for their live proctoring services, which one of them presents as "the most secure choice for advanced online assessments". However, live proctoring can be seen as more invasive than automated proctoring as it allows a stranger to watch the test taker from inside their home. Automated proctoring keeps the test-taking experience similar to the in-classroom test-taking experience - between just the test taker and the instructor.
Live proctoring services are also a less scalable option. Scheduled live proctored exams require a massive number of live proctors ready and waiting. This number of employed proctors has had to grow exponentially due to the growth in demand for online proctored exams during the COVID-19 pandemic. These vendors have had to rely on call centers to monitor the growing surge of online exams. During the global crisis, most of these vendors have experienced delays, crashes, and lengthy wait times for their test takers to take their scheduled live-proctored exams.
Proctorio's automated proctoring allows for scalability. No live proctors, no call centers, no registrations, and no schedules to slow down the proctored exam administration process.
With the ruling of the Amsterdam District Court, Proctorio has now been recognized for working in compliance with local and E.U. wide privacy and data security regulations and laws. This recognition simply solidifies that Proctorio is the preferred privacy-centric remote proctoring platform.
With this ruling, Proctorio's users including students, instructors, and administrators can feel confident that their chosen proctoring solution offers a level of privacy and accessibility that no other remote proctoring solution can offer.